Happy New Year, mamas! If you’re looking to try something new this year, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best hobbies to pick up in 2015. Whether it’s learning how to make jewellery, taking up cooking classes or getting in shape with aerial yoga, we’ve got something to suit everyone’s tastes in our roundup of top hobbies to try! You’re sure to find something you love!
For the Creatives:
You may not think it at first, but scratch the surface and you’ll find the Hong Kong artistic scene is immense. There are classes for almost anything: knitting, scrapbooking, jewellery making, flower arranging – it’s all here. If you’re not sure where to start, workshops at The Crafties offer classes in multiple mediums so you can test the artistic waters under expert hands.
There are several pottery studios scattered throughout Hong Kong and Kowloon, each one offering their own take on the craft. The Pottery Workshop is the largest ceramic workshop in Hong Kong and is located just above Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. Though we can’t promise you a hunky-half naked man to ogle at à la “Ghost”, we can promise you a house full of mugs, bowls and potential presents for close (non-judgmental) family members. If you stopped reading after ‘naked’, then maybe life-drawing is more your style. Learn to appreciate the beauty of the human form at weekly sessions offered by Hong Kong Art Tutoring or local artist Sascha Howard. After all, nothing says ‘artsy-chic’ like hanging up tasteful nudes!
Looking for something a little more bohemian? Poetry Out Loud hosts free readings every week at the Fringe Club in Central, making it the perfect way to dip your toes into the free-verse scene with no commitments!
If all your knitting-patterns, free-verse and sketches are getting misplaced, keep them organised and tidy in a hand-bound book from Percy So’s workshops. Because it’s your own creation from start to finish, each book can be as creative and unique as you are. And if you want to perfect the art of lettering to fill up your handmade notebooks, the Kalo Make Art Calligraphy workshops will give you all the skills you need… plus, you can take home an adorable little calligraphy set!
The Crafties, Sing Kui Commercial Building, 27 Des Voeux Road West, Hong Kong, 3461 1368, www.thecrafties.hk
The Pottery Workshop, 24 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2525 7949, www.potteryworkshop.com.cn/index.asp
Hong Kong Art Tutoring, 21/F, Chu Kee Building, 435 Kings Road, North Point, Hong Kong, 9722 8353, www.hkarttutoring.com/life-drawing
The Art Studio – Sascha Camille Howard, G/F Lot 787 Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 9254 8803, www.saschahoward.com/art-studio/life-drawing-classes
Poetry Out Loud, The Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/PoetryOutLoudHK
Percy So, 5/F 12 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 9191 4687, www.percyso.com
For the (soon-to-be) Fitness Fanatics:
Still trying to shift those last few pounds? A healthy lifestyle is at the top of everyone’s lists this year. In 2015, it’s time to ditch the gym for one of these fun avant garde classes that you’re sure to stick to throughout the year.
Tap into your inner goddess with a few sessions of belly dancing at Oasis Dance Centre in Wan Chai. We bet nothing will keep you more motivated than a dance literally named after your mid-section (particularly good if you’re trying to lose post-baby weight)! Looking for an even bigger challenge? Aerial Arts Academy offers classes in pole-dancing, burlesque, aerial-yoga and more! Grab a group of other mamas and check out their studio for a complete body workout that will leave you feeling sexier and stronger after every class.
If the hectic lifestyle of Hong Kong got to you last year and you’re in need of some meditation and zen along with toning up, then yoga or Pilates might be a better fit for you. At Sassy Mama, we’re all about slowing down and getting in touch with our inner yogi. We checked out Wall Rope Yoga at Pure Yoga recently, where they take lengthening and strengthening seriously – read our full review here!
Another one of our favourite fitness studios is H-Kore, where the innovative fitness classes will have you sweating in no time. Yoga-Kore mixes traditional yoga moves on the reformer, while their Pre & Post-Natal classes are perfect if you’re expecting or have recently delivered your bundle of joy.
Another great way to stay fit and have fun is by joining a team. Once you get hooked on the company, there’s no way you’re backing out! If you just need to let go of that pent up energy (rather on a field or court than lash out at the kids, right, mama?), the Hong Kong Roller Derby is always looking for new members. The organisation is still quite young and trying to get set up, but it’s a great way to meet new people and you’ll definitely get an adrenaline rush!
If you’re still hunting for something suitable to take up in the new year, check out our guide to fitness classes right here.
Oasis Dance Centre, 4/F Anton Building, 1 Anton Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2522 6698, www.oasis-dance-centre.com/couses.html
Aerial Arts Academy, 16/F Parkview Commercial Building, 9-11 Shelter Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2375 8088, www.aerialartsacademy.com
H-Kore, 3/F, Wincome Centre, 39 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2441 9000, www.h-kore.com
Hong Kong Roller Derby, www.hongkongrollerderby.com
For the Culture Vultures:
Is 2015 your year to blossom as an elegant, sophisticated woman of Hong Kong? We’ve got you covered. The Young Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art is your ticket to grown up dinner party chat, away from the kiddos. It offers members private gallery tours, discussions with artists and lecturers, and bonus: wine and nibbles! To top it all off, you get to brag (elegantly of course!) about your evening spent wandering around Christie’s Auction House at the next playdate.
Speaking of wine, nothing says sophisticated like a perfect wine pairing! The experts at Wine Spirit & Senses will teach you everything you need to know at one of their pairing events. Once you’re confident with the basics, keep up your training at home with a monthly wine box delivery– you know what they say, use it or lose it! Each month, you’ll get two bottles of wine with a professionally paired menu with easy to follow recipies. Sounds like the perfect date night in! If you really want to be the vino-expert, you can enroll at the Hong Kong Wine Academy to earn your sommelier certifications.
So go ahead, grab your port and stilton and tell your friends all about that incredible collection of modern Chinese ink paintings you just saw!
The Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, The Friends’ Room, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2734 2196, www.museumfriends.org.hk
Wine, Spirit & Senses, 4/F 287 Queens Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 5630 9930, www.winespiritnsenses.com
The Hong Kong Wine Academy, Unit 1403-5, 14/F 102 Austin Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2723 0399, www.hkwineacademy.com
For the Culinary Goddesses:
Just because your kitchen is roughly the size of a closet, doesn’t mean you can’t whip up something spectacular for your family! Are you a pro when it comes to Italian pastas or French sauces, but don’t know your siu mei from your yam wun sen? Martha Sherpa will fix that with her traditional, hands on, Asian cooking classes. Don’t be put off by the website, much like the classes themselves, it has everything you need with none of the frills! If you don’t know where to start and want to try your hand at a little bit of everything, the chefs at Easy 123 offer courses ranging from dim sum to French macaroons so you’re guaranteed to find something you love. And there are bound to be some little mouths at home willing to try as you practice what you learn.
Are you obsessed with Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes? Do you dream about fondant flowers and cupcakes that are (almost) too beautiful to eat? Then sign yourself up for one of Complete Deelite’s decorating courses, which range from the basics to advance gumpaste designs. Be warned though, you might be in big potluck demand after finishing this course!
If you’re really committed to making cooking a part of your shiny new year, the Hong Kong Culinary Academy offers 10-week courses for beginner and intermediate chefs! They also have courses in mixology, deserts, wine tastings and wine pairings, so you will never run out of classes to take!
Martha Sherpa, Flat F, 14/F Wah Lai Mansion, 62-76 Marble Road, North Point, Hong Kong, 2381 0132, www.marthasherpa.com
Easy 123, Shop 221, 2/F, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2628 0616, www.easy123.com.hk/eng
Complete Deelite, 2/F On Lan Centre, 11-15 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, 3167 7022, www.completedeelite.com/v2/index.php
The Hong Kong Culinary Academy, 1/F Block C, Cho Yiu Centre, Cho Yiu Chuen, 6 King Cho Road, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong, 2156 0612, www.culinary.com.hk
For the Outdoorsy Adventurers:
If this is your year to go back to basics and reconnect with nature, why not try farming with the family? And no, you don’t have to go across the harbour. That’s right – Hong Kong isn’t just beautiful beaches, hiking trails and traffic, it’s also rich farmland. Organisations such as Time to Grow and HK Farm offer workshops in everything from setting up your own rooftop garden, to bee-keeping–though you will have to cross the harbour for the bees! Encouraging the little ones to get their hands dirty is a great way to teach them that not everything comes in packaged from the supermarket.
If you’re more Tomb-Raider than gardener, geocaching might be more your style. It is part hike, part sport, and part scavenger hunt. You use GPS coordinates to find ‘caches’ all around the city and surrounding areas, and you never know where you might end up. Make sure you bring a cute trinket with you to swap with the one you find! If you don’t want to go it alone, Hong Kong has a very active geocaching community on Facebook.
Time To Grow, www.timetogrow.hk
HK Farm, www.hkfarm.org/home.html
Happy New Year, Sassy Mamas!